This week’s Parsha is Beshalach, and it was also my Bar Mitzvah Parsha. It talks about the splitting of the Red Sea and describes how the men sang the Song of Songs in celebration of their freedom. It also tells us that Miriam led the women in songs of thankfulness and joy. Although the men and women sang separately, in my opinion they were equals as they celebrated their hard-won freedom. In the very long Haftorah, we learn about Deborah; a Prophetess, a Judge, a warrior who defeated Sisera, and a leader of the Jewish people. Both Deborah and Miriam demonstrated incredible leadership skills at every turn, and I have always admired their fortitude.
Obviously, this Parsha is particularly meaningful to me because it was my Bar Mitzvah Parsha, but it is important because it defines women in Jewish history as leaders. These strong biblical women are our matriarchs and helped to shape the destiny of the Jewish people.
In today’s Jewish world there are very disparate beliefs concerning women’s roles. In the Orthodox community men are the ones who learn Torah, deal with the outside world, and support the family financially. Orthodox Jewish women are responsible for the home, children, and all of the things that create a Jewish environment for the family. This is a traditional Jewish version of a portrait of family life. The flip side of this scenario is a home that has no defined roles for either partner; where men and women both perform duties and take on responsibilities that are determined by circumstances, not set “rules.”
So- where do I stand on this subject? In order to answer that I have to discuss my personal life experience. I married my wife, Dr. Susan Fuchs, 33 years ago. Susan grew up in an Orthodox family living in Brooklyn. She became a doctor, married another doctor, and moved to a new home in Yardley, PA. Tragedy struck not long after they moved- Susan’s husband died very young of cancer, leaving her alone to support herself and a
2 year old child.
She was forced to take on the responsibilities of supporting a home and a dependent child. Susan had an entire life to rebuild, and thank G-d she was able to do it. Her story and many like hers are part of why I believe that women should not be held back from doing whatever they want in life. Women should be educated just like men- no one knows what life brings, and it is imperative that men and women alike be independent and able to support themselves and their families. I also love Judaism and firmly believe that it is possible to incorporate all of the beauty of creating and maintaining a Jewish home with the education, careers, and independence that both men and women deserve. I honestly feel that this is a situation where you can “have it all.”
Therefore, I encourage Jewish women to aspire to be like our matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Deborah and Miriam. These role models were warriors and leaders both at home and in their broader communities, and I urge our young women to grow up in the spirit of our Jewish foremothers.
Rabbi Ira Budow
2019 Annual Matching Campaign
2019 Annual Matching Campaign
9:00 am February 5, 2019-
9:00 pm February 6, 2019
This year’s annual campaign marks the 20th anniversary of the annual 8th grade trip to Israel, and there is no more fitting theme for the year and our annual fundraising event.
Please join Abrams in celebrating and commemorating this auspicious occasion by participating in the annual fundraising campaign. Your support will enable Abrams to continue to foster a love of Israel and a culture of Zionism at the school for many years to come!
Every dollar you donate to our 36 hour campaign
will be quadrupled thanks to generous donors and the members of the Abrams board of directors.
To qualify for the match all donations/pledges must be received by Tuesday, Feb 5, 2019-Wednesday, Feb 6, 2019.
Donate on-line at charidy.com/abrams for 36 hours beginning 9:00 am February 5, 2019.
You may also donate NOW by sending your check and/or credit card information to the school office.
You will receive further information about participating in our upcoming annual fundraising matching campaign and helping to achieve our goal very soon. Please consider volunteering to help the school and our children!
Please direct questions to Debra Goldfarb, Director of Development; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents Information for Campaign
Our annual fundraising campaign is quickly approaching! Abrams needs everyone’s help to make this ambitious $600,000 goal a success. Please donate and volunteer in whatever capacity you can- Abrams is depending on all of us!
Please click on the links for more information about our 2019 annual campaign.
On Sunday, January 27, 2019 Abrams will hold a town meeting and brunch to discuss the current and future needs of AHA. This is an opportunity to meet in an informal setting to discuss our school, thanks to the gracious invitation from Rabbi Budow and his wife, Susan, to meet at their home. In addition to the meeting and the brunch, participants will be able to view the Budow’s beautiful collection of Jewish art created by well-known artists who reside in Israel.
Rabbi Budow and his wife wanted a visual way to keep Israel close to them by surrounding themselves in Israeli art, and their collection includes works by Yoram Raanan, Lucien Krief, Ben Avram, and Mark Tochilkin. It is interesting that the collection includes artists who are originally from the US, Israel, and Russia- much like the demographics of our Abrams families!
It is very important that as many of our AHA families as possible attend the meeting to learn about what is happening now at Abrams and what needs to be done for the future.
ALL ARE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED
PLEASE RSVP BY:
THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2019
so that the correct amount of food may be ordered.
2019 Israel Trip
Abrams is getting ready for this year’s Israel trip. It is particularly special because it will mark the 20th anniversary of our annual graduation excursions to Israel, and Abrams wants to make it the most memorable experience ever! To that end, during the trip the students will meet with three people who lived in the local region, made Aliyah, and are currently living satisfying lives in Israel.
Yoram Raanan, Tal Brody and Ari Greenspan have something in common- Tal Brody and Ari Greenspan were raised in Trenton, NJ (Ari attended the school when it was called the Trenton Hebrew Academy), and Yoram lived nearby in Philadelphia- all of them emigrated from the U.S. to Israel and have made happy and successful lives for themselves there.
Tal became “Mr. Basketball” after he decided to live in Israel and play for Maccabi Tel Aviv, and Yoram has enjoyed a successful career as an artist. Ari is a dentist and the co-founder of the Ptil Tekhelet Association in Jerusalem. He is also an artist. All three of these people are immigrants to Israel and have created new lives for themselves. I want our students to meet these pioneers and say, “This could be me.”
Every year Abrams dedicates a Torah to the IDF as part of the graduation ceremony. This does not happen by itself- the donation depends on someone funding the purchase and transport of the Torah. The cost is $10,000 and is tax-deductible. In the past the Torah has often been donated by someone who is participating in the trip with a student family member, and anyone who has seen the presentation will say that it is a truly magical experience.
Please consider making this worthwhile gift- if you are interested, contact Rabbi Budow for more information.
Homefront Donations Needed
4th Annual Drive
Donations to Homefront
Ms. Abramowitz and her English classes are holding the the 4th Annual Drive to benefit Homefront, a NJ organization dedicated to helping homeless families become self-sufficient. Homefront offers services and assistance to over 14,000 families a year.
You can participate by purchasing or donating canned goods and new socks with tags on them. The canned goods and socks will be delivered by a group of students and their teacher directly to Homefront.
Support Abrams by purchasing a commemorative brick on the wall in the Link for a $100 donation. The bricks are made of colored Plexiglas and visibly located on the wall outside the gym.
Buy a brick to commemorate a special occasion- it is a wonderful and lasting gift to celebrate a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, birthday, anniversary, graduation, or to recognize the memory of a loved one or friend.
Your donation will be acknowledged to the recipient, and Abrams will benefit from your donation.
Please contact the office if you would like to purchase a brick.
“New Family Recruitment”
Open houses in people’s homes is an effective way to meet with families who are potentially interested in enrolling their children at Abrams. Rabbi Budow and a small group of faculty members are happy to travel to meet informally with your friends and neighbors to discuss the advantages and opportunities that Abrams offers to Jewish children.
If you would like to volunteer to host one of these gatherings, please contact Rabbi Budow.
Safety and Security Reminders
Reminder- AHA Security Procedures:
All parents should use the front door to enter the school with key cards and not the back doors. Parent swipe cards only work at front door.
Please do not ask students to open any doors- parents must report to the front office and check-in before entering the school.
No student or other person should use the lunchroom doors other than for dismissal or emergency purposes.
These rules are for our children’s safety.
Thank you for your cooperation!
Cell Phone Rules
REMINDER: Cell Phone Rules
Electronic devices have become a common means of communication and information access in today’s society. However, these devices have the potential of disrupting the orderly operation of school. Our cell phone/personal electronic devices policy is designed to keep the focus on education.
At the start of the school day, all cell phones MUST BE TURNED OFF (NOT IN SILENT MODE) AND STORED IN THE STUDENT’S LOCKER OR BOOK BAG FROM 8:30 AM UNTIL 3:30 PM. Students are not permitted to carry them on their person or to use them to make or receive any calls or text messages during the given time.
If a student has an emergency, and needs to be in contact with someone, she/he must use a school phone, or have the permission of a faculty member, to use his/her cell phone. Parents should contact the school office, if they have an emergency message for their
Electric devices, such as iPods, or hand-held gaming devices may be used on the bus/van transportation to/from school, prior to school, and following school. Students must turn off and place these items in their locker/backpack during school hours.
If any of these items are out at the inappropriate time, they will be confiscated by staff, and given to the director of discipline.
Students will be allowed to bring cell phones on school trips for emergency use only. Any hand-held gaming device will be the responsibility of the students on a school trip.
The school is not responsible for lost, misplaced, damaged or stolen electronic devices/cell phones.
CONSEQUENCES FOR STUDENTS WHO DO NOT FOLLOW THE ABOVE RULES:
1st Offense – Phone confiscated, and returned at the end of the day.
2nd Offense – Phone confiscated, returned at the end of the day, and written notification that requires parent signature.
3rd Offense – Phone confiscated, and parent must pick up phone from director of discipline.
4th Offense – Suspension from school
Support AHA Donor Businesess
Abrams is greatly appreciative of all of the benefactors who donate generously to the school through participation in EITC, LLC, grants, cash donations, etc. Many of these donors are business owners, and Abrams encourages the AHA community to support the businesses of these people whose largess supports the school.
* This is not a complete list- we will add businesses throughout the year!
Thank you very much to all of our supporters!
Abrams thanks Oorah, a nonprofit organization located in Lakewood, NJ for all of its financial support to our students.
Oorah sponsors numerous programs that all share the common goal of opening doors for Jewish children and families. The mission is to reach out to Jewish families everywhere with opportunities to make their Judaic heritage more personal, relevant and meaningful.
Abrams received $100,000 in scholarship aid for qualified families this year from Oorah and is extremely grateful for the generosity of this organization.
Please do not send meat lunches or snacks to school with your children.
Food sent from home must be
dairy or Pareve only!
Thank you very much for your cooperation
Car Pool Rules
All Parents who Car Pool:
Please note that the car pool line is for grades N and K only. All other students are to be dropped off in the front of the building.
Parents who use the back for drop off should follow the directions of the teachers in the parking lot. They are there to assist students and maintain a safe environment.
Under no circumstances are parents to park their cars in the middle of the line and leave them unattended to walk students into the building.
** We ask that parents refrain from cellphone use in the parking areas while dropping off and picking up their children.
Abrams Dress Code
Studies have found that appropriate dress influences behavior and learning. Abrams strives through the dress code to maximize the learning environment.
Respect for the sensitivities of others requires that students/parents/guests follow reasonable standards of modesty and privacy. We ask that students/parents/guests dress in a manner befitting a Jewish day school when entering the building.
Dress Code for Grades 1-8
Clothing cannot advertise or advocate the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco or weapons.
Clothing cannot display writing or pictures that are obscene or suggestive.
No writing or pictures on the back of pants.
No sleepwear or bedroom slippers to be worn at any time, unless pre-approved for a special occasion.
Heavy linked chains may not be worn as jewelry.
No extreme hair colors are permitted.
All boys must come to school wearing a kippah. Baseball caps and other head coverings are NOT permitted.
No sleeveless shirts, tank tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, tube tops, crop tops, belly shirts, or tight shirts.
Dress Code for Boys Grades 5-8
Shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, and tee-shirts should be appropriate for school. Students may not wear undershirts.
Pants or denim jeans must be properly hemmed and not dragging on the floor. Pants will not have rips, holes, or fraying and will not be too tight or over-sized.
Shorts must be to the knee.
Pants/shorts will not sag, as underwear may not be visible.
Boys are to be clean-shaven.
Hair is to be well groomed. Partially or fully shaved heads and ponytails are not allowed.
Piercings of any kind are not allowed.
Dress Code for Girls Grades 5-8
Dresses/skirts/shorts must be no shorter than 2 inches above the knee.
Pants or denim jeans must be properly hemmed and not dragging on the floor. Pants or shorts will not have rips, holes, or fraying and will not be too tight.
Leggings of any type are not permitted to be worn in place of skirts or pants, but may be worn under clothing. If worn, they must be accompanied by a fingertip length or longer, dress, skirt, or top.
Clothing that exposes any part of the midriff, cleavage (front or rear), or any clothing excessively revealing may not be worn.
Clothing materials for tops and bottoms must be opaque (not see-through).
Consequences for Students Who Do Not Follow the Dress Code:
1st Offense – Explain to student what is wrong with his/her attire. Student must change into appropriate clothing.
2nd Offense – Written notification that requires parent signature. Student must change into appropriate clothing.
3rd Offense – Student must change clothes to follow guidelines and parent is called on the telephone immediately.
4th Offense – Suspension from school.
Parent conference required for student to return to school.
Birthday Celebrations at School
When sending birthday treats into school to celebrate that special day for your child, please consider sending in a healthy treat, such as frozen fruit bars, rice cakes, fruit salad or cups, sugar free pudding snacks, yogurt cake or pie, cheese sticks, light popcorn or air popped popcorn (when age appropriate), pretzels, carrots/celery (when age appropriate).
Please do not send anything with nuts due to allergies.
In order to maintain a consistent kashrut policy and to avoid confusion, ALL orders for birthday cakes/cupcakes MUST be ordered from Cramer’s Bakery, 16 E. Afton Avenue, Yardley. Cramer’s will deliver the order to the school at a discounted price.
Please call Kim Pierce at 215-321-5707 to place your cake/ cupcake order.
Celebrate Your Simcha at Abrams
Abrams Hebrew Academy is a perfect choice to host your family or social affair, business meeting or athletic event. Whether you’re looking for an inviting space to celebrate a special occasion; a meeting area with state-of-the art technology; a fun, safe environment for a child’s birthday; or a gym or athletic field for a sporting event, Abrams can accommodate your needs and your budget. For more information on room rentals at Abrams Hebrew Academy, call (215) 493-1800 or e-mail email@example.com.
Check Your Child’s Assignments with Homework Now
Parents- all homework will be posted on-line by all teachers grades K-8 by Sunday evening each week.
Instructions for use of homeworknow.com:
Click on homeworknow.com
Click on Parent and Student
Click on find school
Click on Pennsylvania
Click on Abrams Hebrew Academy
Click on your child’s teacher
View homework assignments
Share Abrams News With Others
Is there a family member (such as a grandparent) or friend who would be interested in hearing about everything going on at Abrams? Sign them up for our e-mail list today! Please contact the Main Office.
Information about the Extra
Please submit any information to be considered for inclusion in the Extra to Dale Sattin, Director of Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org. (215) 493-1800 ext. 22 by
Tuesday of the target week.
Abrams Hebrew Academy, 31 West College Avenue, Yardley, PA 19067